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Fantasy Football: Week 7 starts, sits

10.18.13 at 10:37 am ET
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Welcome to the Week 7 starts and sits. I’ll be back later today with Jim Hackett for the Fantasy Football Podcast. Check it out in our audio on demand section. For those of you looking for further lineup clarity, feel free to head over to Rotobahn, where we do full weekly positional rankings and update them every Saturday. And, don’t forget to join me here at WEEI on Sunday mornings for our weekly chat for all of your lineup questions.

QUARTERBACKS

STARTS

Jay Cutler, Bears at Redskins

Cutler is becoming a weekly play, and his offense is supporting him well. The pass protection is the key, but so is the play of his receivers. With Alshon Jeffery stepping up and with the excellent play of new tight end Martellus Bennett, the Bears offense has more than just Brandon Marshall. Cutler should do well this weekend in Washington.

Nick Foles, Eagles vs. Cowboys

He may or may not have the starting gig for the remainder of the season, but he is a very strong play at home vs. Dallas. The Cowboys are giving up consistent fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

Eli Manning, Giants vs. Vikings 

Yes, I know. The idea of playing Eli Manning right now is unsettling. I get it. The thing is, he should do very well at home vs. a Vikings team that has been a get-well matchup for  passers all year, including Cam Newton in Week 6. Manning may not be a QB1 in 12-team leagues this week, but he’s a solid option if you are looking for answers. He’s going to have a lot of open receivers.

Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins vs. Bills

He’s a playable option in 12-team leagues if you are looking for an option. The Bills should be a bit better vs. the pass this week as they are finally getting healthy on the back end, but Miami throws the ball getting off the team bus, so you’ll have volume on your side. Make Miami’s refusal to run the ball work for you.

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. Ravens

If you are in need this week, Big Ben makes a serviceable option, even in a tough matchup. Roethlisberger’s teammates have taken their games up a notch and the Steelers have welcomed back both tight end Heath Miller and starting tailback Le’Veon Bell. That has helped out a lot.

SITS

Geno Smith, Jets vs. Patriots

Smith has shown to have some moxie and some fantasy upside when the matchup is right. That being said, I don’t think the matchup is good enough to bet on this weekend. The Patriots have injury issues on defense, but it’s going to set up more opportunities on the ground than through the air.

Alex Smith, Chiefs vs. Texans

Smith is a system guy and he’s doing a nice job, but he is unlikely to post the kind of fantasy numbers that will help your team, especially against a stingy pass defense like the Texans.

RUNNING BACKS

STARTS

Le’Veon Bell, Steelers vs. Ravens

He had a rough time with the Jets last week and he’ll get no easy yards this week against the Ravens, but I expect Bell to get more involved in the passing game, and that will make up for a mediocre day on the ground. He’ll also be the main goal-line back. Bell is a solid RB2 option, even in a mediocre matchup.

Zac Stacy, Rams at Panthers

Stacy is a back we really liked heading into the draft this year. The Rams’ reluctance to give him the ball up until Week 5 was puzzling given the diminutive stature of the other tailbacks on the roster. In the end, Stacy won the battle of attrition and he is a solid play going forward as a flex or RB2 option. The big downside for Stacy is the schedule, which is unfriendly overall. He’s a solid flex in 12-team leagues in Week 7.

Bilal Powell, Jets vs. Patriots

Powell is not an exceptional player, but he is the best the Jets have if you factor in the ability to stay healthy. Powell will be the primary option for the Jets in Week 7. He’ll probably do more damage as a receiver, though the Jets obviously will test a banged-up Patriots front seven as well. Powell is a light RB2 in 12-teams leagues and a solid flex option.

Brandon Jacobs, Giants vs. Vikings

As long as he is ready to go, he makes a nice RB2 or flex in 12-team leagues. Jacobs ran extremely well last week and we expect solid results against a struggling Vikings defense.

Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons vs. Buccaneers

With both Steven Jackson and Jason Snelling banged up, Rodgers should get the ball a ton this week. He’s also been playing some of the best football of his career. Rodgers is a solid flex option in Week 7 if you need help.

SITS

Willis McGahee, Browns at Packers

He’s probably a bit sore after getting a heavy workload right out of the gate.  He’s also got a tough matchup against a Packers team that handles the run very well. McGahee may have some good days ahead in 2013, but he is a risky proposition in Week 7.

Chris Johnson, Titans vs. 49ers

If you drafted C.J., you probably don’t even want to hear his name. He’s had a rough go of things so far thanks to some mediocre line play, an injury to his starting QB and a very tough first-half schedule that culminates in this week’s matchup with the 49ers. Bench Johnson in smaller leagues and understand his limitations in larger formats. The good news is that things get a lot better when the Titans come off their Week 8 bye.

WIDE RECEIVERS

STARTS

T.Y. Hilton, Colts vs. Broncos

Hilton has been feast or famine so far in 2013. In Week 7 I expect Hilton to fatten up on a Broncos secondary that has struggled mightily against the pass. He makes a fine WR3 in any league size or scoring format.

Keenan Allen, Chargers at Jaguars

I worry a bit about him staying healthy, but he has done well since being thrust into action. With both Malcolm Floyd and Danario Alexander gone for 2013, Allen’s new gig is secure. He should be good for WR3 numbers going forward and I like him this week in Jacksonville.

Harry Douglas, Falcons vs. Buccaneers

This is a big week for Douglas, who will be thrust into the forefront with injuries to starters Julio Jones and Roddy White. Douglas and Tony Gonzalez will be the primary options in the passing game for Matt Ryan. That should be good for WR3 value in most leagues.

Aaron Dobson, Patriots at Jets

I’m a Dobson believer, and I like the way he matches up with what’s left of the Jets’ battered secondary. Brady will look for him this week, and I see five-plus receptions and a chance to score. The rookie makes a nice flex play in deeper formats this week.

SITS

Anquan Boldin, 49ers at Titans

This is a shaky matchup, and Boldin has been taken away by defenses the last few weeks as teams dare Colin Kaepernick to beat them some other way. Boldin certainly has the ability to post big numbers at any time, but he is no longer a lock starter in tougher matchups.

Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs vs. Texans 

Bowe has been brutal for fantasy owners so far, and this is a very tough matchup. The Texans shut down receivers about as well as anybody out there. I’m not giving up on Bowe entirely, but I don’t like him this week in 10-team leagues. You should be able to find a better option.

TIGHT ENDS

STARTS

Kyle Rudolph, Vikings at Giants

He finally gave me the breakout game I was calling for in Week 6, and I expect another solid outing against the Giants, who can’t seem to stop much of anything right now.

Jordan Reed, Redskins vs. Bears

Reed is a player we like a lot. The rookie is really coming around and has taken over the tight end job in Washington. He has a chance to score every week, and I expect him to be very active against the Bears. Reed is a good play in 12-team leagues.

Timothy Wright, Buccaneers at Falcons

He’s been very active lately, and they are desperate for receiving options in Tampa, so I expect his high level of involvement to continue. I also like the matchup against the Falcons, who are as low as you can get right now.

Jeff Cumberland, Jets vs. Patriots

The Jets are looking for options, and they certainly have found one in Cumberland, who is really using his speed to cause problems for opposing teams’ safeties. No way can teams try to use a linebacker on this guy. The Patriots handle the tight end pretty well, but Cumberland will get enough targets to be of value to those in 12-team leagues.

SITS

Jared Cook, Rams at Panthers

It’s amazing how bad he’s been, and the thing that should scare Cook’s owners is the improving play of Lance Kendricks, who is outplaying Cook in every phase of the game. Kendricks got 10 more snaps than Cook in Week 6, and that is a troubling fact. I’d avoid Cook for now, though he still has some upside if you are desperate.

Garrett Graham, Texans at Chiefs

He’s been less than advertised since Owen Daniels vacated the starter’s spot, and now he has a serious problem at quarterback. Graham is a good player, but I’d steer clear right now if you can.

Read More: Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Geno Smith, Jay Cutler
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